Overcast skies and middle-aged matrons drinking prosecco before midday - Wimbledon is back

Picnic tables were already occupied on Murray Mount

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The Independent Online

Overcast skies, cool temperatures, middle-aged matrons drinking prosecco before midday.

Wimbledon is back and the Great British public is as undeterred in SW19 by the not-so-Great British weather as it was Birmumbai yesterday (Copyright: Paul Collingwood on Twitter).

The advice on the electronic scoreboard, glowing bright in the gloaming, 'Drink plenty of water, wear a hat and use sunscreen', was somewhat superfluous but no one seemed bothered as long as the possible showers held off.

With the show courts not starting play until 1pm the thoroughfares were packed when play on the outside courts began at 11.30am with spectators standing several deep to watch matches such as 29th-seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet take on American Lucky Loser Vania King, and German qualifier Julian Reister facing Lukas Rosol, the Czech who knocked out Rafa Nadal last year.

The picnic tables were already occupied on Henman Hill/Murray Mount (delete according to preference/nationality) though there was still space on the (damp) grass in front of the big screen to watch Elena Baltacha kick off the Great British effort by losing her first two games to Flavia Pennetta.

Scottish-raised Baltacha went on to lose her first round tie 6-4 6-1 disappointing those girls with Saltires painted on their faces in readiness for Andy Murray's tea-time match (timed to co-incide with peak viewing for the BBC), and her Fed Cup captain Judy Murray who was in the court 3 stands.

Over on court 18 the first shock was in the offing as Puerto Rican teenager Monica Puig took the first set 6-3 against No 5 seed Sara Errani. Nick Bollettieri. The Independent columnist and revered coaching guru, was watching on with pleasure for Puig is one of his students. The 19-year-old eventually brushed Errani aside 6-3, 6-2.